Writer Services Representative - APRA|AMCOS
I think some artists probably don’t realise the amount of royalties that they could get if they actually signed up and registered all their music. My biggest barrier is that there’s a misconception of what Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) is and what APRA do. It holds musicians and songwriters back from getting money for free, basically.
If you don’t register your songs there’s no way APRA can know who to pay. Even if the song has been in inputted via the data submissions from media – if we don’t know who owns the song, all we do is keep the money.
Keep a list of all your gigs and setlists for your Live Performance Return – including the date, the venue and all those songs that you performed. Again, it’s so APRA is able to actually give you the money you’re entitled to.
There’s a lot of stuff that APRA do for members outside of just giving them money. There’s professional development and Song Summit, and also outside of the royalty distribution/pay, we have songwriter speaks. APRA supports MusicNT with a songwriting retreat – anything songwriting we’re interested in helping or promoting. And there’re grants as well through APRA. Depending on what kind of project you have you can apply.
Getting on top of how APRA works for you can only be a positive addition to the many skill requirements of being a musician and songwriter. Your initial royalties may not be huge but if you are serious about your music, over time you will see growth in your returns. Registering your songs and gigs takes a bit of time in the beginning - but it's worth it once you receive your royalties!